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A few words about...™ The Great Escape -- in Blu-ray

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Best Answer John Hermes , May 18 2013 - 03:17 PM

John,

 

Just remember it takes two to argue a point to death.  If that's the way you feel then so be it and move on, as others that disagree with you will not change their minds either.

Good enough, thanks.

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#221 of 239 Richard V

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Posted May 23 2013 - 12:59 PM

One sort of funny aspect of this whole discussion...well, funny to me anyway...is sometimes the amazing picture quality of blu-ray and equipment we watch them on works to "take us out of the picture."

 

 

I'll use another WWII film as an example. Patton is a film I have watched many times over the years and it always holds me spellbound but I have to say I had never noticed until I watched the film on blu-ray on a large screen that during Patton's opening speech in front of the American flag...a pretty iconic moment...it is now completely obvious in pretty amazing detail that George C. Scott is wearing a set of gray press on eyebrows and the backing tape holding them on is vividly revealed.

 

I admit when I saw this I giggled...which had never happened before when I watched this scene...but on blu-ray this little detail was so clearly revealed for the first time watching it I was thinking about Mr. Scott sporting press on eyebrows rather than what was going on in the film.

 

In no way does it "ruin" the film for me but at times blu-ray and the wonderful equipment available to us does bring out some distracting details.  

 

 

I'll second that.  There have been many Bluray, and HD TV shows/movies on Cable/Satellite where the make up effects i would have not previously seen are now remarkably obvious due to the Bluray/HD clarity.


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#222 of 239 Billy Batson

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Posted May 23 2013 - 01:19 PM

All this reminds me of the early days of CD, when for the first time I could clearly hear the lyrics, & started having some idea what Steely Dan were singing about! Seeing obvious fake stuff in movies doesn't really bother me (after all, no one stands up in a theater & shouts - this is fake, you're all just actors!). I've yet to see a submarine film where you don't see the wire pulling the torpedo along. But I won't be annoyed if they rub out the wires holding up the alien craft in the original War Of The Worlds.



#223 of 239 Dick

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Posted May 23 2013 - 10:35 PM

This has been one of my favorites since I "ran away" from home as a teenager in 1963 and sat through it three times before reluctantly returning home at 1:00 a.m. to -- not concerned, but angry parents. I remember the film vividly from that. All prior video releases have been horrible representations of what I remember. This new Blu-ray is okay. Not great...but ok. I can live with it. I can even enjoy it through multiple viewings. It wasn't perfect in 1963, and it isn't perfect now. Like most of us, I had hoped for better. But I really don't know how much better it could have been made, so I will delight in watching it on a very acceptable Blu-ray. The UA catalog has always been of particular interest to me, and there is a ways to go getting it out on Blu-ray (The Miracle Worker, Witness For the Prosecution, Birdman of Alcatraz, I Want To Live!, The Black Stallion, etc) and The Great Escape had for years been among these. Now we have it. It almost certainly won't be released in an improved edition, so we need to adjust our expectations. It's not a stellar release, but it's decent. I can live with that. What it "could have been" is immaterial at this point.


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#224 of 239 Jacksmyname

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Posted May 28 2013 - 09:37 AM

Hi all. Finally picked this up yesterday.

My opinion, for what it's worth:

Is it a demo disc? No.

But compared to my DVD, it's considerably better and well worth the purchase.

Almost a revelation. My display is "only" a 46" (Sony XBR4), and on my set TGE looks very nice. Yes, I wish it were better, but it is what it is, and all things considered, I'm pleased with it.



#225 of 239 Oblivion138

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Posted May 30 2013 - 03:55 PM

But I won't be annoyed if they rub out the wires holding up the alien craft in the original War Of The Worlds.

 

Steven Spielberg will.  He loves those wires:

 

 

If somebody put out George Pal’s War of the Worlds and took the strings off the machines I’d be very upset.  When that machine crashes in downtown Hollywood, and you see the strings going from taut to slack, that’s the thing that allows me to both understand this movie is scaring the hell out of me and at the same time this movie is a creation of the human race.  That little taut-to-slack moment of those wires on that wingtip makes the original George Pal War of the Worlds work for me.  It embraces my fears and it also alleviates them in the same breath.



#226 of 239 Moe Dickstein

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Posted May 30 2013 - 10:50 PM

I think the distinction is, were they always viewable or newly viewable due to the advance in tech. If you could always see them then they should stay, otherwise...
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#227 of 239 Oblivion138

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Posted May 31 2013 - 02:23 PM

I can agree to that...though most things that show up on BD transfers showed up on 35mm...or in the case of Patton, 70mm.  Just because they were lost (and therefore, "errors" temporarily alleviated) when lower-res home video reigned, that doesn't mean they weren't visible in their original runs. 

 

Granted, sometimes when a BD transfer is sourced from the original negative, details can be seen that wouldn't have been in theatrical prints.  But Patton's eyebrows and the strings in War of the Worlds are certainly not examples of this.



#228 of 239 iDarren

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Posted July 01 2013 - 02:56 AM

What will this look like on a 100 inch 16x9 screen?



#229 of 239 TonyD

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Posted July 01 2013 - 08:51 PM

What will this look like on a 100 inch 16x9 screen?


Not so great, but apparently will be replicating they way it looked during its early theatrical run.
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#230 of 239 Billy Batson

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Posted October 27 2013 - 04:10 AM

I finally watched the Blu-ray last night, & enjoyed it as always, & thought the Blu-ray looked really good. The very first shot with the main title comes up & it looks very cold, & I'm thinking, oh no, but by the time they've got to the camp it all looks fine. I thought the colour, density & contrast were just about perfect, of course some people were disappointed that it wasn't sharper, but I thought it looked fine, & some scenes like the actual escape are very sharp. After two duff DVD's I'm very happy with this Blu. And what a movie!
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#231 of 239 Keith Cobby

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Posted November 04 2013 - 07:41 AM

I have just watched the blu-ray and admit I am a bit disappointed with the picture quality. It is unfortunate that iconic films like The Great Escape were not photographed on a large negative format. Although there are some exceptions the best catalogue blu-rays of films of this vintage come from VistaVision/70 mm negatives.



#232 of 239 FoxyMulder

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Posted November 04 2013 - 10:12 AM

I have just watched the blu-ray and admit I am a bit disappointed with the picture quality. It is unfortunate that iconic films like The Great Escape were not photographed on a large negative format. Although there are some exceptions the best catalogue blu-rays of films of this vintage come from VistaVision/70 mm negatives.

 

I'm not convinced that is true, it's all down to whether the studio pays money on new film scans/restoration and less to do with 35mm/70mm, i mean just take a look at Spartacus or The Fall Of The Roman Empire as two examples which looks less than optimal on blu ray, then take a look at Shane which is 35mm, i think it's all to do with how the studio handles the film, sometimes they just don't want to pay for a better release.


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#233 of 239 Mark-P

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Posted November 04 2013 - 02:28 PM

I'm not convinced that is true, it's all down to whether the studio pays money on new film scans/restoration and less to do with 35mm/70mm, i mean just take a look at Spartacus or The Fall Of The Roman Empire as two examples which looks less than optimal on blu ray, then take a look at Shane which is 35mm, i think it's all to do with how the studio handles the film, sometimes they just don't want to pay for a better release.

But it's been discussed ad nauseam that The Great Escape looks on blu-ray exactly as it has always looked. Regardless of the film gauge, every film is photographed and processed different, so that results will vary from film to film.



#234 of 239 FoxyMulder

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Posted November 05 2013 - 02:56 AM

But it's been discussed ad nauseam that The Great Escape looks on blu-ray exactly as it has always looked. Regardless of the film gauge, every film is photographed and processed different, so that results will vary from film to film.

 

I don't believe that it does look as good as it can on blu ray but we discussed this earlier in the thread.

 

Because the "grain" that I'm seeing may not be original, but the overall look of the image is not problematic.  I have no idea what work was performed, but UA negatives were not always treated with the greatest care -- and by that I'm not referring to any current MGM employees, who are constantly trying to deal with old problems.

 

What it does not look like is a new scan off the OCN at 4k, restored at 4k and down-rezzed to Blu-ray.

 

Other than that, it looks very acceptable for the film stock, age and use.

 

RAH


Edited by FoxyMulder, November 05 2013 - 09:34 AM.

     :Fun Movie Quotes:

"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

"Maybe it's a sheep dog... let's keep going" 

"Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot"

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#235 of 239 Steve...O

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Posted November 10 2013 - 02:00 PM

Just wanted to share this with the membership for other fans of this great film.....

 

My wife and I took a vacation this weekend to America's Heartland (Omaha, Nebraska) to attend a special 50th anniversary screening (35mm) of the Great Escape.  This event, produced by film historian and documentarian Bruce Crawford, was highlighted by a live in person appearance by Mr. David McCallum.  Mr. McCallum spoke to a sold out audience of something like 990 people and then graciously signed autographs afterwards for anyone who wanted one (we were in the line for over an hour and there were plenty of people behind us so I imagine this went on for for close to 2 hours).   A motorcyle that is of the same type that Steve McQueen used in the film was on display along with much memorabilla from Mr. McCallum's career and WW2 displays and re-enactors. 

 

I've seen this on a big screen before (as part of Cinemark's classic series) and have the wonderful BD, but to see this in a very full house on 35mm is something that can't be replicated.  I understand that Mr. Crawford has produced close to 3 dozen of these events over the past 20 years (each with at least one "big name" special guest), but this was my first (and hopefully not last).

 

The only sad part of the proceedings, which got an audible reaction from the audience occured when Mr. McCallum made a special point to note that his friend and co-star, James Garner, is "not doing well" and is in "need of prayers".   On a more positive note, Mr. McCallum, who is 80, looked terrific and could easily pass for 20 years younger. 

 

For those wondering, he didn't spill any NCIS secrets :)


Edited by Steve...O, November 10 2013 - 02:02 PM.

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#236 of 239 davidHartzog

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Posted November 10 2013 - 02:13 PM

Not good news about Mr. Garner though. Thanks for the heads up.
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#237 of 239 Stephen_J_H

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Posted November 15 2013 - 08:19 PM

Just arrived from Amazon, along with Creature from the Black Lagoon. I'll report on my impressions after I have a gander.
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#238 of 239 Robert Crawford

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Posted April 28 2014 - 02:56 AM

You can now buy this BD for less than $6 at Amazon.


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#239 of 239 CraigF

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Posted April 28 2014 - 12:16 PM

^ Yup, just got it for that the other day and watched it yesterday. I wish the first 2 hours looked as good as the last hour (in general, times are approximate), I would be very satisfied with that, at least it was the most beautiful part re scenery that looked nice. Seemed strange to me how different that last section of the movie looked, probably a good explanation if I knew how the BD sources were divied up.







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